Prohibition

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Oregon: Yes on Measure 80: Regulating marijuana would increase public safety

By Shelley Fox-Loken

There is a truth that must be heard! I went into criminal justice because I wanted to serve the public. As a corrections official, I thought that by working with inmates I'd be able to help them reintegrate into society, making their lives better and our community safer. I quickly became disillusioned with that noble idea, however, as I saw that rehabilitation, once the overarching goal of the penal system, was increasingly impeded as Oregon's prisons were overrun with people whose only crimes were drug-related.

Prison used to be reserved for those who committed what we think of when we hear the word "crime" -- murderers, rapists, thieves. But increasingly during the past 40 years, drug users and low-level dealers who've committed no offense other than succumbing to the medical problem of substance abuse have been joining those ranks. In order to prosecute those committing these consensual crimes, we're using resources -- police time, court time, jail beds -- that could be better spent going after those whose victims are all too real.

Measure 80, the initiative on Oregon's ballot this November that would regulate marijuana like alcohol, doesn't solve that problem entirely, but it's certainly a step in the right direction.

United States: Hempcrete - Another Victim of the War on Drugs

This versatile, green building material is banned from commercial production in the U.S.

By Jon Walton, Construction Digital

There is a truth that must be heard! The farcical war on drugs that has incarcerated millions, cost taxpayers billions, and led to the deaths of untold numbers of domestic and international civilians, is also smothering an industry with the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of the building sector, one of the largest polluters on the planet.

Hemp, the fibrous material from low-TCH strains of the Cannabis plant, has uses ranging from food to medicine, clothing, paper, and even construction. When hemp is combined with lime, you get a carbon-negative building material with greater flexibility and only 15 percent of the density of traditional concrete. Called hempcrete, this insulating and moisture regulating mixture is hard to come by in the United States, as the Cannabis plant is currently federally prohibited from being used in industrial production.

Hempcrete lacks the compressive strength of traditional concrete, however, and requires an additional framing element to support vertical loads – but its other properties would make it an attractive alternative building material, if not for hemp’s legal status.

United States: 10 Reasons to Revisit Marijuana Policy Now - Americans Increasingly Favor Legalization of Pot

Culturally, marijuana has become hardly more than a punch line. But in reality, U.S. marijuana policy is no joke; it causes great harm, both directly and indirectly. Here are the 10 most important reasons our marijuana laws deserve serious reconsideration

By Maia Szalavitz, Time.com

There is a truth that must be heard! For the first time ever, a solid majority of Americans supports legalizing marijuana for recreational use: 56%, according to the most recent Rasmussen poll. Support for legalization has been growing steadily since the 1990s; in 1994, just 25% were in favor.

In November 2010, California residents voted on a ballot initiative to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana. Although the measure failed to pass — 46% to 54% — the fact that the initiative made it onto the ballot and garnered that much support was itself historic. Indeed, it was fear of the initiative’s passage that led then California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to decriminalize possession of up to 1 oz. of pot shortly before the vote — a move that was intended to bleed voter support from the ballot question. Had it passed, California would have been the first state to legalize the drug outright. In 2012, Colorado and Washington State will vote on total legalization.

United States: Americans Decry War on Drugs, Support Legalizing Marijuana (Angus Reid Public Opinion)

There is a truth that must be heard! Two-thirds of adults in the United States believe the “War on Drugs” has been futile, and a majority continue to call for the legalization of marijuana in the country, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of 1,017 American adults, 68 per cent of respondents believe that America has a serious drug abuse problem and it affects the whole country.

One-in-five Americans (20%) think the country’s drug abuse problem is confined to specific areas and people, and five per cent say America does not have a serious drug abuse problem.

Only 10 per cent of respondents believe that the “War on Drugs”—a term that has been used to describe the efforts of the U.S. government to reduce the illegal drug trade—has been a success, while 66 per cent deem it a failure. Majorities of Democrats (63%), Republicans (63%) and Independents (69%) agree with the notion that the “War on Drugs” has not been fruitful.

Across the country, 52 per cent of Americans support the legalization of marijuana, while 44 per cent oppose it. Majorities of men (60%), Independents (57%) and Democrats (54%) would like to see marijuana legalized. Women (45%), respondents over the age of 55 (48%) and Republicans (43%) are not as supportive of legalization.

United States: 56% Favor Legalizing, Regulating Marijuana (Rasmussen Reports)

By Rasmussen Reports Staff

United States: 56% Favor Legalizing, Regulating MarijuanaA solid majority of voters nationwide favor legalizing and regulating marijuana similar to the way alcohol and tobacco cigarettes are currently regulated. Most also don’t believe it should be a crime for people to smoke marijuana in the privacy of their own homes.

A new national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows that 56% favor legalizing and regulating marijuana in a similar manner to the way alcohol and tobacco cigarettes are regulated. Thirty-six percent (36%) are opposed to such a legalizing and regulating pot.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters nationwide was conducted on May 12, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.

Survey Wording: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/questions/nation...


Source: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/lifestyle/general_lifesty...

Oregon: Freedom VS Prohibition - The upside of pot (PRO)

By Patrick Emerson, Clackamas Print

There is a truth that must be heard! The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Initiative (OCTA) is here again in 2012 with more support than ever. According to gallup.com, half, yes, HALF of all Americans they polled last year are in favor of the legalization of marijuana. Proponents of OCTA, Initiative 9, are busy gathering the 82,213 signatures needed to place the decision in the hands of Oregon voters this November and set a precedent for the legalization of marijuana for states across the country. With enough signatures, citizens of Oregon will once again have their chance to reap the potential statewide benefits of legal cannabis and hemp this November.

The flowers or buds of the female plants have properties that are very well known to most and valued highly by others. But what about its other properties? There was a time before prohibition when presidents grew hemp for fiber and food on the White House property. There was a time when hemp clothing was very popular amongst the upper class because of its strength and longevity. In the recent past, we have also discovered that hemp can be grown for the production of nutritious foods and biodiesel.

United States: Feds' war on medical marijuana goes overboard

By SF Gate Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! The Department of Justice maintains that there has been no change in the Obama administration's medical marijuana policy. President Obama recently told Rolling Stone, "I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana - and the reason is, because it's against federal law."

Yet it also was against federal law in 2008, when candidate Obama did say he would not "use Justice Department resources to try and circumvent state laws" authorizing medical marijuana. Today, the Department of Justice is waging a full-throated war against medical marijuana dispensaries in California and other states that have legalized it.

In October, a group of California U.S. attorneys announced that they would focus on medical marijuana outlets. They've been raiding area dispensaries ever since. Last week, the office of San Francisco U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag stepped up its offensive by going to federal court to force the landlords of Novato's Green Door Wellness Education Center and Green Tiger dispensary to forfeit their properties.

United States: Pot Legalization Could Save U.S. $13.7 Billion Per Year, 300 Economists Say

By Huffington Post Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! Your plans to celebrate 4/20 this Friday could actually make the government some money, if only such activities were legal. That’s according to a bunch of economists, and some prominent ones too.

More than 300 economists, including three nobel laureates, have signed a petition calling attention to the findings of a paper by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, which suggests that if the government legalized marijuana it would save $7.7 billion annually by not having to enforce the current prohibition on the drug. The report added that legalization would save an additional $6 billion per year if the government taxed marijuana at rates similar to alcohol and tobacco.

That's as much as $13.7 billion per year, but it's still minimal when compared to the federal deficit, which hit $1.5 trillion last year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

While the economists don't directly call for pot legalization, the petition asks advocates on both sides to engage in an "open and honest debate" about the benefits of pot prohibition.

"At a minimum, this debate will force advocates of current policy to show that prohibition has benefits sufficient to justify the cost to taxpayers, foregone tax revenues, and numerous ancillary consequences that result from marijuana prohibition," the petition states.

United States: Your Voice, Your Vote - Oregon Cannabis Tax Act

By Ms. Sylence Dogood, Hemp News Correspondent

There is a truth that must be heard! Those who continue to debate the issue of marijuana legalization in support of its prohibition by using false propaganda created in the 1930's to manipulate voters by fear, only succeed in talking themselves deeper into a hole, because research has shown that propaganda to be mostly lies. By educating yourself on the merits of the cannabis plant for its medicinal and industrial properties, you will learn that all of the wasted money thrown into the war on drugs must stop, and as a global community we should be harnessing the benefits to our community and our economy by openly allowing the growth, use and sale of industrial hemp and medical and recreational cannabis.

According to Paul Stanford, Chief Petitioner of the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act 2012 in the attached video from KATU Channel 2 News "Your Voice, Your Vote" debate, "We want to take the stigma out of marijuana and allow it to be a real medicine that doctors can prescribe through pharmacies." Taking the stigma from marijuana is a matter of education about cannabis and telling the truth rather than spouting propagandist lies.

Wasting Our Tax Money

United States: Pat Robertson - Marijuana should be legal

By AP, Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! RICHMOND, Va. - Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson says marijuana should be legalized and treated like alcohol because the government's war on drugs has failed.

The outspoken evangelical Christian and host of "The 700 Club" on the Virginia Beach-based Christian Broadcasting Network he founded said the war on drugs is costing taxpayers billions of dollars. He said people should not be sent to prison for marijuana possession.

The 81-year-old first became a self-proclaimed "hero of the hippie culture" in 2010 when called for ending mandatory prison sentences for marijuana possession convictions.

"I just think it's shocking how many of these young people wind up in prison and they get turned into hardcore criminals because they had a possession of a very small amount of a controlled substance," Robertson said on his show March 1. "The whole thing is crazy. We've said, `Well, we're conservatives, we're tough on crime.' That's baloney."

Robertson's support for legalizing pot appeared in a New York Times story published Thursday. His spokesman confirmed to AP that Robertson supports legalization with regulation. Robertson was not made available for an interview.

United States: Marijuana Policy Behind the Scenes - My Notes from a Drug Policy Reform Conference

By Rick Steves, Washington I-502

There is a truth that must be heard! With a group of respected and caring citizens, I have co-sponsored Initiative 502 in Washington State (www.newapproachwa.org), which will legalize, tax, and regulate the sale of marijuana for adults. We worked very hard last year to gather more than 350,000 signatures. Last month, we turned them in, and last week, our state government certified that we had gathered enough good signatures. This means that (unless our legislature simply accepts the initiative outright), I-502 will be on the ballot in November of 2012.

I’m working with a wonderful group of activists who (like their counterparts did in the 1930s to end the prohibition against alcohol) endeavor to end the US government’s war on marijuana. We believe that it's not a question of if the USA will stop sending pot smokers to jail...it’s a matter of when. While there are many good reasons to be waging this battle, for me this is a matter of civil liberties and pragmatic harm reduction.

United States: Statewide campaign to legalize marijuana in Michigan kicking off in Ann Arbor

By Ryan J. Stanton, Ann Arbor Political Reporter

Photo by Ryan Stanton A grass-roots group operating under the name Repeal Today For A Safer Michigan 2012 is hoping to put the question to voters in November 2012.

A draft version of the petition obtained by AnnArbor.com seeks to amend the Michigan Constitution to make pot legal for people 21 and older.

It reads as follows:

A Petition to amend the Michigan Constitution Article 1, to add:

Article 1 Section 28. Repeal of Marihuana Prohibition.

For persons at least 21 years of age who are not incarcerated, marihuana cultivation, possession, bodily internal possession, sale, acquisition, transfer, delivery, transportation, religious, medical or personal use, or possession or use of paraphernalia shall not be prohibited, abridged, or penalized in any manner; nor subject to civil forfeiture; provided that no person shall be allowed to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by any substance.

Kestenbaum said he hadn't thought much about whether such a proposal would pass, but he doesn't discount it considering the medical marijuana initiative won voter approval in 2008.

"I think this is going to be very interesting," he said. "I'm intrigued."

United States: Marijuana legalization support at record high

There is a truth that must be heard!(CBS News) - Never before have more Americans believed legalizing marijuana was the right course for the country.

In a new Gallup poll, 50 percent of respondents in a nationwide survey said they believed it was time to make pot legal. About 46 percent came out against it.

Support for legalizing marijuana tended to be stronger among younger, more liberal groups, according to Gallup. Legalization received 62 approval among those aged 18 to 29, but got only 31 percent approval among those 65 and older. Liberals were twice as likely as conservatives to favor legalizing marijuana.

In a release, Gallup writes: "When Gallup first asked about legalizing marijuana, in 1969, 12 percent of Americans favored it, while 84 percent were opposed. Support remained in the mid-20s in Gallup measures from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, but has crept up since, passing 30 percent in 2000 and 40 percent in 2009 before reaching the 50 percent level in this year's Oct. 6-9 annual Crime survey."

If the steady climb in public support for marijuana legalization continues at its current pace, politicians will soon have to address the laws that fly in the face of that movement in opinion.

United States: Members Of Congress Introduce First Federal Measure Since 1937 To Legalize The Adult Use Of Marijuana

By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

Members Of Congress Introduce First Federal Measure Since 1937 To Legalize The Adult Use Of Marijuana House lawmakers introduced legislation in Congress today to end the federal criminalization of the personal use of marijuana.

The bipartisan measure, HR 2306 – entitled the 'Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011' and sponsored by Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank and Texas Republican Ron Paul along with Reps. Cohen (D-TN), Conyers (D-MI), Polis (D-CO), and Lee (D-CA) – prohibits the federal government from prosecuting adults who use or possess marijuana by removing the plant and its primary psychoactive constituent, THC, from the five schedules of the United States Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Under present law, all varieties of the marijuana plant are defined as illicit Schedule I controlled substances, defined as possessing 'a high potential for abuse,’ and ‘no currently accepted medical use in treatment.'

Said Rep. Frank, "Criminally prosecuting adults for making the choice to smoke marijuana is a waste of law enforcement resources and an intrusion on personal freedom. I do not advocate urging people to smoke marijuana, neither do I urge them to drink alcoholic beverages or smoke tobacco, but in none of these cases do I think prohibition enforced by criminal sanctions is good public policy."

California: Hemp to Potentially Replace Reliance on Fossil Fuels

By Kevin W. McCarty, Daily Nexus

California: Hemp to Potentially Replace Reliance on Fossil Fuels Humanity stands at a crossroads. For nearly two centuries, human civilization has seen its every facet transformed by the machinery of industrial development. During this period of rapid expansion, we have beheld the gracious power of cheap fossil fuels, namely petroleum oil, as our premier source of energy and electricity. But today we are witnessing crude oil prices skyrocket as many economists say we have already reached peak global oil production and will see increasing prices until the supply of petroleum is diminished. As a result, we must expect additional sources of renewable electrical power will sustain economic growth in the coming decades.

For most of human history, the hemp plant has been used as an integral crop of commerce and navigation. Cultures across the globe have utilized hemp as a source of food, rigging and building materials and paper pulp. It is, without a doubt, the most resilient and efficient plant the Earth has ever grown. But not until now has it become quite so necessary to realize the prohibition of hemp and cannabis must be suspended. The arguments against legalization do not stand trial when compared to the immense benefits.

'Global war on drugs has failed,' key panel says

Commission criticizes US approach and argues that governments should end the criminalization of drug use

By msnbc.com staff and news service reports

Soldiers carry bundles of marijuana towards a bonfire for incineration during the destruction of a plantation in Amata, on the outskirts of Culiacan in Mexico's northwestern state of Sinaloa on Nov. 30. NEW YORK — The global war on drugs has failed and governments should explore legalizing marijuana and other controlled substances, according to a commission that includes former heads of state, a former U.N. secretary-general and a business mogul.

A new report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy argues that the decades-old worldwide "war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world." The 24-page paper was released Thursday.

"Political leaders and public figures should have the courage to articulate publicly what many of them acknowledge privately: that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that repressive strategies will not solve the drug problem, and that the war on drugs has not, and cannot, be won," the report said.

The 19-member commission includes former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and former U.S. official George P. Schultz, who held cabinet posts under U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon.

United States: Support The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011

By Paul Armentano, NORML

United States: Support The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011 Texas Republican Ron Paul and a coalition of 25 co-sponsors are once again seeking to allow for the commercial farming of industrial hemp.

House Bill 1831, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011, would exclude low potency varieties of marijuana from federal prohibition. If approved, this measure will grant state legislatures the authority to license and regulate the commercial production of hemp as an industrial and agricultural commodity.

Several states — including North Dakota, Montana, and Vermont– have enacted regulations to allow for the cultivation of hemp under state law. However, none of these laws can be implemented without federal approval. Passage of HR 1831 would remove existing federal barriers and allow states that wish to regulate commercial hemp production the authority to do so.

Illinois: Lawmakers Continue Reefer Madness, Punish Farmers

Over the past several years, sixteen states have passed pro-hemp farming legislation, so why are Illinois lawmakers working against the farmer?

By Michael, Hemp News Correspondent

Illinois Lawmakers Continue Reefer Madness, Punish Farmers Last month, because of years of festering propagandist lies, the Illinois House of Representatives voted against mid-west farmers and their right to grow a viable rotation crop (HB1383 - Illinois Industrial Hemp Act). The bill, which passed a House Agriculture and Conservation Committee by a vote of 11-2 earlier in the same week, would have licensed: individuals desiring to grow, process, cultivate, harvest, possess, sell, or purchase industrial hemp or industrial hemp related products. In many cases, an alternative rotation crop, such as hemp, could possibly save the multi-generational farms from foreclosure.

"The fiber from industrial hemp is one of the strongest natural fibers known, and it is present in bundles that surround the main stem. Industrial hemp fiber applications include uses in textiles, cordage, construction materials, paper products, and bio-composite plastics," according to Donald P. Briskin, Professor of Plant Biochemistry/Physiology, Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois.

Canada: Industrial Hemp Production

Canada:  Industrial Hemp Production

By Government of Alberta, Agriculture and Rural Development

Canada:  Industrial Hemp Production Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa) is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. The species was banned in North America in late 1930s because its leaves and flowers contained a hallucinogenic drug known as delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It was banned internationally in 1961 under the United Nations’ Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Hemp does suffer from the “snicker factor”, largely because of its hippy-dippy image and close association with marijuana, its conscious-altering cousin.

United States: Hemp Education Research Project

David Piller, Hemp News Correspondent

United States: Hemp Education Research Project - Hemp for Humanity A friend of mine recently put together a survey for a ethnography research methods class on the topic of creating effective hemp education and promoting hemp awareness. Below are a few of my responses.

What is your educational platform (or pro-hemp argument) that you use when doing hemp outreach?

My main "argument" is that if we are truly serious about maximizing the growth of the green economy and creating a sustainable future, industrial hemp must become, once again, one of the United States' primary crops. I stress how cultivating hemp will do more to help clean our air, soil, and water than any patented technology our scientists can offer. I include hemp nutritional benefits and communicate how making more hemp foods available to our citizens, we can improve the quality of life of many and reduce our long term health care costs.

Do you change this platform for various audiences: when and why?

Yes and no.

I think it is important to make things as simple as possible for people to grasp hemp’s true potential, and I always strive to bring it down to a healthy environment, healthy food, and healthy industries to lay a solid foundation to build a dialogue upon.

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